Sarah Handy Edwards Baltzell

MOUNT DESERT — Sarah Handy Edwards Baltzell, a photographer and beloved mother and gracious friend, died on Aug. 31, 2009 at age 77. Born May 22, 1932 in Oklahoma City, she was the daughter of Archibald Cason Edwards and Sarah Stanley Gordon and grew up in Baltimore.

Like her mother, Sarah attended Shipley School and Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1954.


She married Dr. William Baltzell in April 1954, lived in Chestnut Hill, Penn. and raised two children. After divorcing in 1974, she became a paralegal, completed her MBA at Temple University in 1984, and was also a real estate broker. Always interested in art, Sarah pursued photography with a passion which became her creative voice. Her photographs betray a deep psychological sensitivity and were shown in galleries throughout the United States. She was a longtime summer visitor to MDI, loved photographing all over the island, and was one of the featured artists at the Wingspread Gallery’s 30th anniversary show.

A dedicated community activist, Sarah was a woman of many talents with a passionate interest in civic affairs, artistic endeavors and environmental concerns, and was a gracious hostess who loved to entertain her friends with gooseberries that she grew.

“Sarah epitomized the graciousness and politeness of a bygone era, while embracing the contemporary world with her curious, creative and sensitive mind,” said her daughter, Virginia Southall Baltzell. “These qualities enabled her to preserve friendships from all walks of life. She was a gentle soul and a loyal friend with a sense of joie de vivre.” She was an avid gardener, a member of the Schuylkill River Park Community Garden and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

A memorial service is planned for Sept. 25, 2009 at the Acorn Club in Philadelphia. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to: Philadelphia Sketch Club, 235 S. Camac St., Philadelphia PA 19107-5609.

Know when to pay your respects.